Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Zombie Jamboree, Pt. III

This will wrap up my current ranting about zombies, although I have reviews of MARVEL ZOMBIES2 #2 and Marvel Spotlight: Marvel Zombies/Mystic Arcana coming up in a few days.

This whole thing started because of the MZ titles, but also because Cox Cable has begun carrying FearNet in their On Demand tier. I’ve been watching movies, interviews and trailers over there when I get the chance, as Donna really does not like horror/slasher films. I seem to marry women with dissimilar film tastes for some odd reason, but that may be a whole other post.

Anyway, before Halloween FearNet was showing the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and some other zombie films. One was CHILDREN OF THE LIVING DEAD a low budget flick that unofficially ties itself to the original Romero film. They do this via some dialogue early on where characters explain the history of the ‘problem’ the town has had with the walking dead. Not something the Chamber of Commerce really wants to talk about, but you know how that goes. Folks who don’t know about this little bit of history always seem to decide to settle or build exactly where they shouldn’t.

In this case a used car dealer decides to put his showroom over the town’s old cemetery, but to save money he has his contractor simply dump all the coffins in a mass grave. He has sent his son along to ‘learn the business’, but of course feels that it is not necessary to tell him what Dad is secretly doing. If you have seen any more than a couple of horror movies you know pretty quickly that things are going to turn out badly for at least a few of these folks before the end credits.

This is one of those movies where, as Joe Bob Briggs would say, there is way too much plot getting in the way of the story. Not only do we have the whole zombie thing, but we also have a former serial killer and child molester, Abbot Hayes, who has returned from the dead. He has revived via the zombie bite a group of kids killed in a car crash (which he caused after they defiled the grave of his mother, whom he had killed and whose body he kept). Of course, one of them is the sister of a survivor once rescued from Hayes years before, who now works in the town’s only restaurant and has fallen for the son of the car dealer. By films end, Hayes is leading the original four kids and several dozen other zombies they have created against the contractor’s men and various town folk held up in the restaurant. Plenty of arms, faces and other body parts get chewed, while some zombies get blowed up real good.

The best part of the movie is the very beginning where Tom Savini, the well-known FX master, plays a deputy who kicks major zombie butt before being attacked by Abbot Hayes. Savini was also the stunt coordinator on the film, so the action scenes are the best parts. This is definitely one of those movies that are well served by the fast-forward option in On Demand.

I’ve been having lots of fun with FearNet, both On Demand and over at their website. Check out BURIED ALIVE and the BLOOD TRAILS webisodes that act as a prequel to 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. Hoooo boy,…scary stuff, kids!
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